Static electricity

Static electricity is an imbalance of electric charges within or on the surface of a material or between materials. The charge remains until it is able to move away by means of an electric current or electrical discharge. Static electricity is named in contrast with current electricity, where the electric charge flows through an electrical conductor or space, and transmits energy.[1]

Contact with the slide has left this child's hair positively charged so that the individual hairs repel one another. The hair can also be attracted to the negatively charged slide surface.

A static electric charge can be created whenever two surfaces contact and have worn and separated, and at least one of the surfaces has a high resistance to electric current (and is therefore an electrical insulator). The effects of static electricity are familiar to most people because people can feel, hear, and even see the spark as the excess charge is neutralized when brought close to a large electrical conductor (for example, a path to ground), or a region with an excess charge of the opposite polarity (positive or negative). The familiar phenomenon of a static shock  more specifically, an electrostatic discharge  is caused by the neutralization of a charge.


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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Static electricity, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.